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I feel compelled to comment on two letters published Sept. 25. First, Grant Piper (“Evacuation revelations shocking“) uses the Sept. 19 article “Tokyo faced evacuation scenario: Kan” to lambast Japanese leadership, arguing that “alarmist and hysterical” foreign media coverage was warranted after all because Kan considered evacuating Tokyo. Yet, the original article only discusses the influence of a worst-case scenario on Kan’s attitude toward Tokyo Electric Power Co. — not that evacuating Tokyo was considered.

So, it cannot be used to justify the hyperactive and shrill postquake foreign media coverage. It is wrong of Piper to reverse his initial position because of the Sept. 19 article and then use this information to clobber Japanese leadership in general.

Furthermore, Japan’s response to the disaster has nothing at all to do with the issue of getting a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, which brings me to the Sept. 25 letter by Paul Gaysford (“Mixed American views of Japan”), who points to Japan’s “instability.” The views of a tiny number of Gaysford’s “friends” don’t matter, and Japan has had only two years to recover from decades of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) control.

We must also remember that the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant became as bad as it did because the LDP, the bureaucracy and the power companies discouraged healthy debates on nuclear power in order to build more reactors, make money and stay in control. For amakudari (the practice of former government officials parachuting into private-sector jobs), coverups, tricking the public into believing that nuclear power was safe — we can thank the LDP, the power companies and even the United States. Now we have to figure out what to do. “Japanese leadership” will find a way while evolving and improving, and we who live here now are obligated to help with this process.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

donald wood

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